Apple introduces new short URLs

star trek short link

Apple last week posted an announcement to its developer portal, informing app-makers that they can now use short (or ‘vanity’) URLs to send out links to their App Store apps. For instance, a link to the iWork app would be

Typically, links to Apple-hosted software are comprised of lengthy URLs with ID numbers—nearly impossible for anyone to remember. But Apple is hoping that these new short URLs will make it easier for developers to market their apps…

From the dev center announcement:

“Provide a simple way for users to find your apps with easy-to-remember App Store Short Links. Using an URL that includes your app or company name, you can create links to a single app or all of your apps. These links are accessible worldwide and will automatically direct users to their country’s respective App Store or Mac App Store.”

As noted by CNET, the new App Store domain made its entrance during a Super Bowl ad for the new Star Trek movie last night. The spot (shown above) directed viewers to, instead of the usual Facebook page or movie website.

So what happens when multiple developers try to use the same short URL? Well, Apple explains that if a naming conflict arises, the link will take users to an App Store search page. So obviously, it’s encouraging developers to create unique app names.

Apple, or more specifically Steve Jobs, was given the domain along with the accompanying trademark by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff back in 2008. But these custom URLs mark the first time, that I can recall, it’s really put it to use.